Game-by-game won-loss predictions in mid-May for a season that begins in mid-September are ridiculous. The New York Giants Week 1 game against the Denver Broncos is a perfect example. The Broncos will be a much different team with Teddy Bridgewater/Drew Lock at quarterback than if a much-discussed trade for Aaron Rodgers occurs.
So, this year we aren’t doing those here at Big Blue View.
That, though, doesn’t mean we can’t look around at what some other folks think and offer some general thoughts on how the 2021 season might turn out for the Giants. The general consensus is that despite the improved personnel, especially on offense, the Giants are still not a playoff team.
Draft Kings Nation has the over/under for the Giants at 7 wins. Here is the breakdown:
Win total, over/under: O 7 (-130), U (+107)
Division champs: +350
Strength of schedule
Super Bowl odds: 15th
2021 win totals: 19th
2020 records: 8th
CBS Sports has its own take on the Giants’ strength of schedule. Based on 2020 winning percentage of opponents, CBS has the Giants (.474 opponent win percentage) with the eight-easiest schedule. Unfortunately, the Philadelphia Eagles (.430) and Dallas Cowboys (.4520 have the easiest schedules by this imperfect measure.
NFL Network analytics expert Cynthia Frelund also sees the Giants as third in the NFC East, with a projected 7.1 victories. She writes that despite the team’s improvements “the wins aren’t necessarily going to show in 2021.”
If the wins aren’t going to show in 2021, then when?
We know that co-owner John Mara is “tired of losing.” We know that the Giants were aggressive this offseason in upgrading the roster to try and break they cycle of losing they have been in. We know they have been widely praised for that work. We don’t know if it will pay off.
As I said above, I’m not going game-by-game. There are far too many variables. If you are a pessimist, it’s not hard to look at the 2021 schedule and agree with those who see a 7-10 season for the Giants. If you’re an optimist, it’s not hard to see 9-8 or even talk yourself into 10-7. It’s not hard to talk yourself into the idea that the Giants don’t have the best offense or defense in the division, but considering the strengths and weakness of Washington and Dallas that the Giants might be the division’s most complete team.
What happens depends on so many things.
Does Daniel Jones take a step forward? Is Saquon Barkley still Saquon Barkley? Will the gamble on the offensive line pay dividends? Will Kadarius Toney and Azeez Ojulari provide much-needed impact? Will the Giants stay healthy?
I prefer to be optimistic and believe that what I see as a much-improved roster will lead to better results. The Football Team and the Cowboys, though, also appear to be better.
So, we’ll see.